After a game of Thieves of Baghdad, I was up for something heavier. I found it ... in a game of Sid Meier's Civ. Matt, Ted and I were ready to hop into a game being started by Steve S (who brought it in 3 weeks ago; that game went unfinished). Two problems: Ted (who was well-versed with the computer game) had never played it, and Carl (who was in our 'ToB' game) was left out. This worked out well, as Matt, Carl and I were able to hammer out a 3-player game of Ra while Ted learned SM Civ from Steve.
Niles came out early (with some floods), and everyone scored some with those in the first round. Less common were pharaohs, which (combined with a timely funeral) allowed me to grab the +5 with a scant two pharaohs. The 12 points I netted from the first era held off Matt's +5 from Civs ... but my luck would change in the second era.
Three-player games can be Ra-heavy, and as it turned out, every round ended on Ras. This was particularly rough for me here, as (a) I lost out on every flood that hit the table (while holding 5 Niles), (b) my early grab of two more pharaohs couldn't hold off Carl, who got to 5 before the era ended, (c) I ended up using a bid just to jump my suns late in the round, and (d) I still ended up with a bid left when the round ended on Ras. Though I did get a civ and some nice monuments (including a triple), I only scored 2 for the era, compared with Matt's 12 (helped out by a quadruple-civ).
(A little history here: at this past WBC final, I was neck-and-neck with Alex Bove going into the final round, and I had better suns going in. With so many civs out of the game, he focused on quick, timely grabs which augmented his suns. In the end, he gained 10 on me from suns and won by 6.)
The third era ended fairly quickly, and I still didn't get a flood. I did get to tie for the pharaoh lead, though, and also got to 7 different monuments. Most importantly, though, I was able to secure the 'high sun' total while Matt ended up with the 'low sun' total. The ten-point swing made up the difference in our scores (we each got 15 for monuments; his Niles got cancelled out by a lack of a civ), and I edged him out for the victory.
Final scores: me 41, Matt 38, Carl 27.
Fun game (as usual), and very timely; we ended just as Ted was ready to go for Civ. But that's another session report.